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South Carolina DBA / Assumed Name In 5 Easy Steps

South Carolina DBA / Assumed Name In 5 Easy Steps

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South Carolina DBA / Assumed Name In 5 Easy Steps

If you’re planning to start a business in South Carolina under a name other than your own, you will need to register for a business name. Business name registration is commonly referred to as a South Carolina DBA or “Doing Business As” but is officially called an Assumed Name. To see if you need to register for a South Carolina Assumed Name and steps on how to register, check out our guide.

Related: Guide to starting a business in South Carolina

Who Needs to Register for a South Carolina Assumed Name?

Sole proprietorships and general partnerships are the most common business structures to register for a South Carolina DBA. By default, the name of a sole proprietorship and general partnership is the owner(s) legal name, but if the small business owner wants to operate under a specific name, it can be registered with the County Clerk’s Office. 

For example, if Mary Reese starts a flower shop operating under the name Mary Reese, she doesn’t need to register for an Assumed Name in South Carolina.  If Mary decides to name her business Mary’s Flowers, then she will need to register.

Even though name registration is optional in South Carolina for a sole proprietor or partnership, it’s commonly needed before setting up a vendor account or business bank account to provide proof of business ownership.

A corporation and Limited Liability Company won’t typically register for a South Carolina DBA since a unique entity name is created during the entity formation process. However, some will want to register for a DBA if they have another business or brand name they want to operate in addition to the legal name of the business. This can allow multiple businesses to operate with the liability protection of a South Carolina corporation or Limited Liability Company without having to form another entity. 

What are the Steps to Register a South Carolina Assumed Name?

Step 1: Verify Name Availability

The first step in the DBA registration process is doing a South Carolina business name search through the South Carolina Secretary of State.

Step 2: Obtain an Assumed Name Form

The form to register for a Certificate of Assumed Name is available from the County Clerk’s office. Many offices have their form online, but some are only available from the Clerk’s office.

Step 3: Fill out the Assumed Name Form

Each county is different, but information that is commonly needed includes;

  • Fictitious name being requested
  • Name and addresses of the owners

Step 4: Notarize the Form

Before signing the form, be sure to have a notary witness the signing of the documents.  Most County Clerk’s offices offer notary services at no cost.

Step 5: Submit the Form

Submit the filing fee and completed form to the County Clerk.

If you would prefer to have a someone else research DBA name availability and file the required forms, Bizee and LegalZoom offer a DBA registration service for $99, plus state fees.

South Carolina DBA FAQs

How much does a South Carolina Assumed Name cost?

The cost to file an Assumed Name form in South Carolina will vary by county but tend to be around $10-$20.

Can you have multiple DBA under one EIN?

An EIN or Employer Identification Number is a unique nine-digit number that some businesses will register for through the Internal Revenue Department (IRS). An EIN is required for partnerships, corporations, multi-member LLCs, or any business that has employees.

Sole proprietors and single-member LLCs without employees can use the owner’s social security number to identify the business.

There is no limit to the number of DBAs under one EIN.

How can I keep someone from using my business name?

While the Assumed Name registration won’t stop anyone else from registering the exact same name, a federal trademark can.

Related: How to trademark a business name

What is the difference between a South Carolina Assumed Name and a business license?

These are actually two different business registrations. In addition to the South Carolina Assumed Name registration, most businesses will also need a business license. The licenses a business will need vary depending on what the business does and local registration requirements.

Related: What business licenses are needed in South Carolina?

South Carolina DBA / Assumed Name In 5 Easy Steps

South Carolina DBA / Assumed Name In 5 Easy Steps

2 Responses

  1. Hi I have an existing LLC in SC its a single member llc and I want to add a DBA under it, can I use the same EIN as the LLC for the DBA?

    1. Hi Deneen – Since the LLC and the DBA are not separate legal entities, both names will operate under the LLC’s EIN. With the DBA, you can open a separate bank account under the DBA name and use the same EIN too.

      Hope this helps!
      Greg

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